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Despite the fact that the pandemic has left a critical economic situation around the world, in recent months, the business fabric has shown an unprecedented interest in promoting strategies related to promoting inclusion, equity and diversity. In a pandemic context and marked by uncertainty, it would have been valid to affirm that these initiatives were going to be the first to weaken. However, and to the surprise of many, this has not been the case.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are key to the competitiveness of companies
More and more companies are echoing the importance of taking diversity, equity and inclusion as central strategies for corporate management. Undoubtedly, these have a central role in achieving business excellence, competitiveness and reducing inequality in society. This year will be difficult in economic terms as the pandemic has had serious consequences throughout our country. This is why, to face a period of post-pandemic reconstruction, stopping poverty and exclusion will definitely be the great strategic axes. For which to use concepts such as diversity, equity and inclusion may be the way. Today, these concepts can be translated into a regular training program by a DEI training company.
Aware that these strategies not only impact the social commitment of companies, but are also a lever for the future and competitiveness, here are some main trends in diversity and inclusion with the aim of inviting reflection and action of companies today:
- Stop the spread of poverty and social exclusion of COVID-19:
If the reduction of poverty and social exclusion has always been an important key in any strategy of diversity, equity and inclusion, today it becomes an essential challenge firmly aligned with the 2030 Agenda. The pandemic is the cause of a wave of poverty and exclusion that could drag more than a million people. Faced with this complex context, the business agenda is reordered and combating social exclusion stands as the great mission for this 2021. In this sense, it is vital to support projects that help reduce inequality, which is increasingly wide, as well as stop discrimination, not only against present or potential employees, but also against other stakeholders such as customers, suppliers or people who live in the environment in which the company carries out its activity.
- Establish the conceptualization of diversity, equity and inclusion and its social impact:
Fortunately, in recent years, diversity, equity and inclusion strategies have aroused growing interest on the part of organizations, but there is a certain stagnation that prevents them from moving towards more mature phases of management and implementation. Most companies are in a phase of cultural change and this is, perhaps, because the concepts of diversity and inclusion have not yet landed, and there are many doubts, fears and ambiguity around their meaning and implications. It is true that a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion coach can help companies manage heterogeneous teams and, therefore, entail some risks.
3) From the leader to the inclusive professional:
In recent times, the training of inclusive leaders who effectively manage business diversity has been taking hold so that all people can develop and optimize their talent. At this point, it is necessary to take a new step for organizations to be truly inclusive: not only inclusive leaders are needed, but also inclusive professionals. It does not matter if we are talking about the management committee, middle managers or employees without a team in charge. The degree of inclusion of a company begins with the base employee and is made up of all workers.
- Fight the digital divide. Towards the conquest of universal accessibility:
The pandemic has brought with it, among other things, a sudden digitization, also showing an existing problem: the digital divide. Difficulties in accessing, using and handling technological devices can lead to the isolation and exclusion of people with disabilities, limited resources, advanced age, etc. Companies have before them the opportunity to orient their diversity and inclusion initiatives to digitization projects that equip the most vulnerable people with technological skills, reducing inequality and promoting their social and labor inclusion. Along the same lines, investing in digital resources to improve performance will be another trend. It is essential to promote the training of the workforce in technological skills so that those actions that can be transferred to the online format have the possibility of doing so, with a human capital that is increasingly capable of providing a virtual response to business needs.
5) Eliminate unconscious biases:
Unconscious biases are the great enemies of diversity and inclusion. In addition, some recent analyzes suggest that they tend to skyrocket in times of uncertainty such as the one we are going through. It is therefore essential to undertake actions so that they do not become a factor of discrimination and, therefore, stop diversity & inclusion policies.
It is very clear that diversity, equity, and inclusion are the keys for many companies to rise up in this New Normal era.